New Orleans close to losing Hornets???
Hornets owner George Shinn technically has negotiated a two-year extension to his team’s lease in New Orleans through 2014. Apparently, at least according to the team’s official Web site, the additional two years is to compensate for the lost seasons that were played mostly in Oklahoma City.
But according to this Times-Picayune report, the deal contains an opt-out clause for the Hornets following the 2008-09 season if the team doesn’t average 14,735 fans over the next 67 home games — this year’s remaining 26 and next year’s full 41. Judging by this picture, a sign of how poor the Hornets’ crowds have been this season, that mark might be hard to achieve.
The 14,735 figure is an average of the team’s total attendance in the three seasons prior to Katrina, which would effectively keep the Hornets near the bottom of the league in attendace.
YEAR TOTAL AVERAGE NBA RANK
2002-03 641,683 15,650 19
2003-04 587,613 14,332 28
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